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July 5, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
A popular cat will get to continue to browse the shelves at White Settlement Public Library in Texas. Last month, the city council unexpectedly voted to evict Browser the cat from the library after he’d resided there for 6 years. But when the move sparked international outcry and thousands of signatures on online petitions, the small governing body decided to reverse its decision on Friday — to the cheers of a room packed with Browser supporters. One city council member said he’d voted to remove the cat because people who were allergic to cats weren’t able to use the library, but he changed his mind after listening to the voters. — Watch it at Dallas’ WFAA
Since early May, humpback whales — and even some enormous gray and blue whales — have been showing up off the coast of San Francisco, to the delight of whale watchers. The reason? The Golden Gate Strait has been packed with anchovies for the whales to feast on, said Dr. Sara Allen who heads the Ocean and Coastal Resources Program for the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service. The number of whales has been unusual for this time of year. “Generally, the peak numbers have appeared in July. Historically, large numbers are expected in the fall and not in the summer,” said Dr. Jaime Jahncke of Point Blue Conservation Science. — Read it at SF Gate
A critically endangered Spix’s macaw that’s thought to be extinct in the wild was spotted flying near a town in Brazil for the first time since 2000. The rare moment was caught on video by a 16-year-old girl using her phone, and wildlife experts confirmed that it was indeed the rare blue parrot. Locals in the Curaçá region were thrilled at the sighting of the species, which was the inspiration for the animated 2014 movie Rio. It’s unclear whether the bird who was spotted was the same one last seen in 2000, or if it was a bird who was released from captivity. — Read it at the Huffington Post
Just in time to celebrate Independence Day, a U.S. Navy sailor based in Norfolk, Virginia, was reunited with his recently retired K9, Freddy. Petty Officer 1st Class Chad Perez was Freddy’s handler when they were stationed at a U.S. Naval base in Italy. They worked together for more than a year until Perez was relocated to Norfolk. Ten-year-old Freddy had served in Iraq and Afghanistan before he was sent to Europe, reported the Virginian-Pilot. The German Shepherd suffers from hip injuries and problems with his pancreas, and the American Humane Association, which helped facilitate Freddy’s adoption, is providing lifetime veterinary care for him. The pair hadn’t seen each other for a year until they were reunited on Sunday. “I just look at him truly as a best friend,” said Perez. “That dog works for you, and you work for that dog … You have each other’s back and it’s pretty amazing. It’s pretty cool.” He plans to let Freddy kick back and relax on the couch, and he’s been happy to spoil him with lots of toys. — Watch it at Virginia’s WAVY
The star of the Olympic Games is just a month away, and the swimmers and runners aren’t the only ones getting ready. Coached by 12-year-old Bela Cat-Rollie, the kittens are preparing to show off in their own Olympic competition — and they’re naturals at gymnastics. The Kitten Summer Games, featuring kitties on events from the balance beam to the uneven bars and even the floor exercise, will premiere on the Hallmark Channel on Fri., August 5. The kittens will even try their luck at track and field games, volleyball, wrestling and tennis. The Games feature 90 kittens, who’ve all been adopted. — Watch previews at the Hallmark Channel
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